Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Iran's desperate kidney traders

This disaster is happening in the country whose President keeps saying "nuclear energy is turning us into a superpower"... Where is Iran going to under mullahs?

BBC-On streets and in town squares in Iran, young men and women can be seen holding signs offering their kidneys for sale.

One of them reads: "Immediate offer! Kidney for sale, young man, 22, healthy, blood type O positive. Tel 09122... "

Every year, 1,400 Iranians sell one of their kidneys to a stranger.

At the Tehran branch of the Association of Kidney Patients, one of many agencies set up to facilitate the trade, the reception is full of people.

In the narrow, drab corridors, people are waiting in line, either to fill in forms, answer questions, undergo tests or be X-rayed, and finally to be operated on.

Activity is intense, bordering on the chaotic. Registers are filled in, photographs of patients are pasted onto small cards, and the telephone rings endlessly.